BY YONI ROSENZWEIG
Students who anticipated a regular night at last Thusday’s bar review found the event to be more of a gala than usual, promoting a closer relationship among Boston law schools and raising money for a cause.
Billed as an “All Boston Law School Charity Bash,” the event brought over 900 students from Boston University Law, Boston College Law and Harvard Law School. The crowd, which exceeded The Big Easy Bar’s capacity by 300 people, raised $5,270 for the Morgan McDuffee Youth Violence Prevention Program.
The event’s coordinators arranged a collaboration, not only among HLS, Boston University and Boston College Law, but for the first time, between the two wings of HL Central — Events and Community Service. The special effort was principally due to the murder of Morgan McDuffee, the effect it had on the community, and the aim “to turn this tragedy into something more positive,” said 3L Ariane Decker, HL Central Community Co-chair and friend of Morgan.
Also attending were 30 of Morgan’s friends, his mother and his fiancé, Suzi Andrew.
Andrew viewed the event as part of an effort to reduce the nationwide violence among youth and said she hopes to see the benefits implemented in Boston. Murder is currently the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24.
“Seeing Morgan’s family, fiancé, and friends enjoy themselves was thrilling. “ Decker said. “People from HLS and other Boston law schools worked incredibly hard because they read about Morgan, the charity and the people surrounding him.”
McDuffee was murdered in March 2002 while attempting to break up a violent conflict in Maine outside of Bates College, where he had just submitted an honors thesis and planned to graduate in two months. According to Bates’ web site, the killing sparked hundreds of letters of condolence to the college administration and brought over 1000 people to an overflowing church for his funeral
For his distinguished academic record and character, Morgan was awarded a posthumous degree, the first from Bates College since its founding in 1855.
The party certainly left people in higher spirits, as the crowd stayed at capacity until closing.
Andrews also found the jubilation uplifting, calling it, “terrific to see so many people united behind [Morgan’s] cause.” At the door, many students offered more than the $5 recommended donation. One student reportedly paid $100.
On campus, Decker helps the Morgan McDuffee Youth Violence Prevention Program to raise more donations, which continue after the event. Andrew, who left Bates after Morgan’s death to live and attend school near home in Maine, views the charity as part of Morgan’s effort to reduce the violence which ultimately lead to his death.